Scott Martin and Matt Arey were sharing an area Friday morning and appeared to be working in tandem to locate fish that they hoped would rise to the surface.
As they fished 100 or so yards apart, Martin would relay to Arey what he was seeing on his electronics and Arey would reply in kind. They’d also tell each other when they had fish follow their baits back to the boat. At one point, after Martin caught a keeper, he shouted to Arey what bait and size hook he was using. They eventually split up and fished other areas, but it was a level of cooperative competition rarely seen in an event like this.
Arey revealed later that he and Martin have been working closely all season and both have benefitted from the arrangement. It made no sense to stray from it at the Cup. Martin was 8th after day 1 with 15-14 while Arey was 16th with 12-03, just over three pounds out of 10th place.
When Jacob Wheeler moved over to the Elite Series this year it left Arey without a roommate and Martin without a practice partner.
“We approached each other about working together and now we share everything 100 percent,” Arey said. “It’s different with schooling fish, but we have worked very well together. It’s a good relationship and we’ll keep building on it. It’s something you don’t see at our level.”
Arey said they coordinated how they would rotate through certain areas on day 1 so by mid-day they were able to cross over and fish each other's spots without being on top of each other.
“It has to be highly calculated or else it screws the both of us up,” he added. “In the long run, it’ll help us both because we know how to maximize each other’s spots.”
Martin said it’s been a win-win situation working with Arey.
“Wheeler and I spent time working together and Matt and I shared as well so it’s good to have somebody that’s a good fisherman that you can bounce ideas off of and analyze what’s going on,” Martin said. “Any time you can work with somebody and help each other it’s all good.”